The Regulation of Climate Engineering

Jesse Reynolds

Tilburg University - Department of European & International Public Law; Tilburg Sustainability Center

April 18, 2011

Law, Innovation and Technology, Vol 3, No. 1, pp. 113-136, 2011

Climate engineering, or geoengineering, is a group of proposals to intentionally intervene in global physical, chemical, and biological systems on a massive scale in order to reduce the threat of anthropogenic climate change. Climate engineering is receiving increasing attention, and research is moving forward. Regulation remains inadequate, and climate engineering presents significant regulatory challenges. Key to overcoming these challenges is distinguishing between the two primary forms of climate engineering, and between deployment and research. One of the two primary forms, carbon dioxide removal, can largely be addressed through existing legal instruments. In the case of the other primary form, solar radiation management, focusing initially on research can bypass the geopolitical quagmire of deployment. Because this is the approach of the SRM Governance Initiative, it holds potential for significant progress toward regulation of SRM research. Two particular challenges remain: establishing regulatory legitimacy, and developing an appropriate definition of research.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: climate engineering, geoengineering, climate change, environmental law, international law, regulation, research

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Date posted: April 18, 2011 ; Last revised: January 30, 2014

Suggested Citation

Reynolds, Jesse, The Regulation of Climate Engineering (April 18, 2011). Law, Innovation and Technology, Vol 3, No. 1, pp. 113-136, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1813965 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1813965

Contact Information

Jesse Reynolds (Contact Author)
Tilburg University - Department of European & International Public Law ( email )
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Tilburg Sustainability Center ( email )
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